The new high-tech equipment allocated to the Vertebromedullary Surgery Unit of the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve (CHUA) were presented this Wednesday, the 7th, at the Hospital de Faro.
According to a note from CHUA, this is «a highly differentiated clinical area that allows surgical procedures to be carried out until then non-existent in the Algarve».
The new Neuronavigation equipment now acquired by CHUA, with the support of community funds, increases the state-of-the-art technology park at hospital level, «allowing a greater differentiation of public hospitals in the Algarve in the provision of health care in the region».
With a total investment of more than 1 million euros in equipment at the Vertebromedullary Unit, the new state-of-the-art Surgical Navigation System improves the quality of cranial and spine surgeries, representing, at the same time, «an investment in rigor and safety, something that is extremely important, especially in more complex surgeries», adds CHUA.
This new system thus enriches the surgeon's action, as it helps him to plan the approach before and during the surgery, allowing for greater rigor and an increase in safety and precision, along with a drastic reduction in the exposure of the patient and the teams. involved with radiation, when compared with the classical approach.
As the company that sells the equipment explains, «this navigation system is, thus, a kind of “GPS” that results from a combination of hardware, software, tracking algorithms, fusion of image data and specialized instruments to help guide the doctor during surgical procedures. For example, in spine surgery where screws are implanted, this system guides and significantly reduces the probability of misplaced screws, avoiding revision surgeries and more costs for the SNS and losses for the patient».
At the same time, another equipment that equips that Unit, since 2022, was presented, as a result of a donation from the benefactors Sir Trevor Pears and Lady Daniela Pears. It is the most modern surgical microscope, which combines optical and digital visualization modalities, offering a unique micro-inspection tool.
«This equipment has allowed a significant improvement in the provision of health care in the Algarve», said Joaquim Pedro Correia, director of the Neurosurgery Service, highlighting the high level of differentiation in performing surgeries, which previously would have had to be performed in Lisbon.
The presentation session of the new equipment and of the Spinal Cord Surgery Unit was attended by the vice-president of the Commission for Coordination and Regional Development of the Algarve (CCDR), José Pacheco, who said that these investments are reflected in the quality of the service provided to the Algarve region and the country.
«By guaranteeing better care and covering more areas of specialization, with better equipment, it is possible to treat better and without the need to travel outside the region, thus promoting the provision of close health care. On the other hand, with better working conditions and state-of-the-art equipment, it will certainly allow attracting and bringing new health professionals, assuming the region as a destination to work and research in the areas of health», he emphasized.
The chairman of the Board of Directors of CHUA underlined the importance of this «investment in cutting-edge technology», since, in addition to guaranteeing more differentiated health care for patients, they will also «attract more people to work in public hospitals in the Algarve».
Ana Varges Gomes also highlighted the fact that these high-tech equipment arouse the interest of professionals who, in addition to working in the clinical area, also want to develop their activity in the area of research. «I'm very happy with all the support we've had and with all the equipment we've bought. At this point we can be very proud of what we have at this level », she maintained.
Also present were Horácio Guerreiro, clinical director of CHUA, who thanked the professionals for all the work they have done in the services, underlining the importance of this strategic vision based on technology.
Joaquim Pedro Correia, director of the Neurosurgery Service, highlighted the fact that the Algarve «began to have access to this technology», thus avoiding trips to hospitals in the Lisbon area to be treated.
«We have a service equipped with everything we need, top-of-the-range equipment, and we manage to treat all types of pathology with a quality at the level of what is done in any national and European centre», stressed the Director of the Service.
As of July, he also informed, the team will be reinforced with another doctor who chose the Algarve unit to work.
The neurosurgeon ended his intervention by also showing the new equipment that the service will soon receive, such as the Endoscopy material, the C-arms and the Transparent Surgical Table, which allow for «a very big improvement».